'''Illinois State University''' ('''ISU'''), founded in 1857 as ''Illinois State Normal University'', is the oldest public university
and is located in Normal, Illinois
. The University emphasizes teaching and is recognized as one of the top ten largest producers of teachers in the US according to the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education.
The University's Illinois State Redbirds|athletic teams
are members of the Missouri Valley Conference
and the Missouri Valley Football Conference
and are known as the "Redbirds," in reference to the state bird, the Cardinal (bird)|cardinal